Tip O'Neill TrophySt. Marys, Ont. – For the fourth consecutive year, Joey Votto will be honoured with the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s Tip O’Neill Award.

The St. Marys, Ont.-based shrine presents this honour annually to the Canadian player judged to have excelled in individual achievement and team contribution while adhering to baseball’s highest ideals.

To determine the winner, the Hall takes into account a number of criteria, including each candidate’s on-the-field performance, contributions to their team, community and charitable endeavors and support in fan voting. Starting on November 27, the Hall had encouraged fans to vote for their top three candidates and hundreds responded by casting their votes via e-mail and on the Hall’s website.

Votto, the Cincinnati Reds all-star first baseman and the pride of Etobicoke, Ont., becomes the first player to win the award four years in a row (He shared the award with John Axford in 2011) and the second player to win it more than three times, joining Maple Ridge, B.C., native Larry Walker (who won the award nine times).

“Joey Votto is not only a superstar on the field, but he’s also an inspiration and a difference-maker away from the ballpark,” said Scott Crawford, the Hall’s director of operations. “There was a very strong field of candidates this year, but Joey deserves this honour for his tremendous contributions both on and off the field.”

Selected to his fourth consecutive all-star game in 2013, Votto hit over .300 for the fifth straight season and set new Canadian single-season records for walks (135) and times on base (316). He also led the National League in both of those categories, as well as in on-base percentage (.435), plate appearances (726), games played at first base (161) and assists by a first-baseman (154). The Reds slugger, who finished sixth in the National League MVP voting, also belted 24 home runs, tied for the National League lead in intentional walks (19) and topped Canadians in every offensive category except for doubles, RBIs and stolen bases.

Off the field, Votto recently launched the Joey Votto Foundation, which will help military veterans and active service members in Cincinnati and Toronto deal with post-traumatic stress disorder. His goal is to offer care to approximately 500 new patients each year.

“It’s an honour to be recognized again by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame,” Votto said. “It is very flattering to be mentioned in any discussion that includes Larry Walker, who represented our country with such dedication and professionalism during his Major League Career. I have to thank the Baseball Hall of Fame for its efforts in promoting our great game in Canada.”

The Reds first baseman will be presented with the award in a pre-game ceremony in Cincinnati early in the 2014 season.

Brett Lawrie (Langley, B.C.), Russell Martin (East York, Ont.), Jim Henderson (Calgary, Alta.), Justin Morneau (New Westminster, B.C.), Ryan Dempster (Gibsons, B.C.), Jesse Crain (Toronto, Ont.)  and John Axford (Port Dover, Ont.) also garnered significant support in the fan voting for the award, as did Team Canada Women’s MVP Stephanie Savoie (Quebec City, Que.).

The Hall’s Tip O’Neill Award is named after Woodstock, Ont., native James “Tip” O’Neill, who was one of Major League Baseball’s first legitimate stars. With the American Association’s St. Louis Browns in 1887, O’Neill set big league records in hits, doubles, slugging percentage and total bases, while compiling a Major League record .492 batting average. Walks were counted as hits in 1887, but if O’Neill’s average was calculated by today’s standards, it would be .435, the second highest in big league history to Hugh Duffy (.438).

Gagnants précédents du trophée Tip O’Neill

1984 – Terry Puhl

1985 – Dave Shipanoff

1986 – Rob Ducey

1987 – Larry Walker

1988 – Kevin Reimer

1989 – Steve Wilson

1990 – Larry Walker

1991 – Daniel Brabant

1992 – Larry Walker

1993 – Rob Butler

1994 – Larry Walker

1995 – Larry Walker

1996 – Jason Dickson

1997 – Larry Walker

1998 – Larry Walker

1999 – Jeff Zimmerman

2000 – Ryan Dempster

2001 – Corey Koskie

2001 – Larry Walker

2002 – Eric Gagné

2002 – Larry Walker

2003 – Eric Gagné

2004 – Jason Bay

2005 – Jason Bay

2006 – Justin Morneau

2007 – Russell Martin

2008 – Justin Morneau

2009 – Jason Bay

2010 – Joey Votto

2011 – Joey Votto

2011 – John Axford

2012 – Joey Votto

2013 – Joey Votto